Women’s basketball takes down WNE in overtime for seventh straight victory

Andrew Wuebker, Sports Editor

Behind 20 points from Mariah Nicholas and 18 from Gabby Jerahian, the Roger Williams University women’s basketball team defeated Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) opponent Western New England 67-56 in overtime on Wednesday evening.

Seeking their seventh consecutive victory, the Hawks (14-3, 8-2 CCC) had to go through the streaking Golden Bears (12-5, 8-2 CCC) who were winners of five straight games and six of their last seven.

The night also marked the start of spring semester classes for RWU students. Students dressed in white for White Out night with over 150 in attendance.

The game was the first of a doubleheader in the Campus Recreation Center with RWU’s men’s team taking on the Golden Bears immediately afterward.

Both teams got off to a rocky start shooting the ball, combining for 34 percent from the floor in the first-half, but WNE made enough shots for a slim 23-18 halftime lead.

Going into the second-half, RWU needed to take care of the ball significantly better, committing 13 turnovers in the first. The Hawks finally got the possessions back they fumbled away in the first-half, turning the ball over only five times in the third and fourth frames to give themselves more possessions.

The Hawks eventually fought back to take a lead as large as four 45-41 on a Nicholas 3-pointer with 6:06 left to play, but the Golden Bears didn’t go away. WNE hit a layup on the break and two free throws tied things up at 45. A jumper by Nicholas gave the Hawks a 47-45 lead with 3:29 to go, but WNE drained a triple for a 48-47 lead with 3:12 remaining.

A pair of freebies gave the Golden Bear a narrow 50-47 lead with 2:37 left and looked like it would be enough as missed shots plagued RWU down the stretch.

Jerahian answered with a clutch triple with 47 seconds left to tie things up at 50, but a layup by WNE with nine seconds left looked like that was all she wrote.

Nicholas was the savior for RWU however, as she nailed a mid-range jumper two two ticks left to tie the game at 52.

WNE failed to get a shot off, putting the game into overtime.

Unlike for most of the contest being a back and forth affair, RWU stayed aggressive and WNE was tired out, outscoring the Golden Bears 15-4 in the five-minute session, giving the Hawks a thrilling 67-56 victory.

The Hawks return home Saturday, Jan. 27 for a game against CCC rival University of New England at 1 p.m.